Times vs. Journal Digital Battle Royale! Landman Says WSJ Has Done 'Nothing' With Its Web Site

murdoch071808 Times vs. Journal Digital Battle Royale! Landman Says WSJ Has Done 'Nothing' With Its Web SiteIt’s a late, sleepy summer Friday, but New York Times online editor Jon Landman has some choice words for Rupert Murdoch, Robert Thomson and The Wall Street Journal‘s online editor, Alan Murray, this afternoon.

Well, technically speaking, he doesn’t name any of those people in his weekly memo, or the paper itself, but in his weekly briefing designed to discuss accomplishments for nytimes.com, he comes out swinging! Namely, he says wsj.com has accomplished nothing!

As Mr.Landman writes:

There’s some financial newspaper out there, on Wall Street or maybe in midtown, we aren’t sure. There’s new ownership, it seems, some rich guy who says he wants his paper to be more like ours. So we challenged him to compete head to head with our Thanksgiving Day Topics Page. That was seven months ago. So far, nothing.

They must be busy covering the bad economy. Hard to do both, we suppose.

Here’s what Mr. Landman wrote back in April reminding Mr. Murdoch about this "challenge:"

Challenge
It was many, many months ago that we challenged Rupert Murdoch to a Thanksgiving Day Topic Page faceoff. Here’s our Thanksgiving Day Topic Page, we said.
http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/subjects/t/thanksgiving_day/index.html

Where’s yours? We didn’t get an answer. (And WSJ customers didn’t get a
topic page!)

(The original challenge can be found here.)

Robert Thomson said the Web page would be redesigned in the fall, and we’re suddenly giddy over a new, digital war! Forget newsstand sales! Topic Pages is the prize now!

Here’s the memo in its entirety:

To: The Staff From: Jonathan Landman & Vivian Schiller

July 18, 2008

There’s some financial newspaper out there, on Wall Street or maybe in midtown, we aren’t sure. There’s new ownership, it seems, some rich guy who says he wants his paper to be more like ours. So we challenged him to compete head to head with our Thanksgiving Day Topics Page. That was seven months ago. So far, nothing.

They must be busy covering the bad economy. Hard to do both, we suppose. We sympathize, yet at the same time we don’t see why a snappy Web site can’t do turkeys and dismal science. Especially one with all those imaginative
uses of multimedia, topics pages, blogs, reader comments and other fresh and exciting things.

Markets
If you want to really dig into the economic news you have to crunch some numbers. You can get them by clicking around on a bunch of government and reference Web sites. Or you can click here.
http://markets.on.nytimes.com/research/markets/overview/overview.asp

That’s our redesigned and expanded Markets section. It’s a data fest with all sorts of specialty mini-sites.

Like currencies
http://markets.on.nytimes.com/research/markets/currencies/currencies.asp

Consumer rates
http://markets.on.nytimes.com/research/markets/rates/rates.asp

Bonds
http://markets.on.nytimes.com/research/markets/bonds/bonds.asp

And a bunch of others.

There’s also a new section front for Economy, the first of a group of ambitious sub-verticals in the Business section.
http://www.nytimes.com/pages/business/economy/index.html?adxnnl=1&adxnnlx=1215806444-PouHR1C5bnPnngVYtmBPSA

Coming in Economy: An economics blog by David Leonhardt and Catherine Rampell.

Perspective
It’s no longer unusual to see professional athletes blogging. Still, it’s nice when they do it for us.
http://olympics.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/07/14/basketball-diary-in-baltimore-preparing-for-beijing/

http://bats.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/07/07/milton-bradley-what-have-i-done-now/

Young
It’s the young folks who are adapting to the Web, right? Hah!
http://www.nytimes.com/packages/html/fashion/20080713_STREET_FEATURE/index.html

He does it every week. People like it. Here’s a piece of fan mail:

"Mr. Cunningham: I’ve been a regular reader of nytimes.com for a couple of years, and I enjoy so much about the site. The interactivity of readers adding comments on various stories of note, the excellent writing, features, columns. But I must tell you, your pieces make my week every time. I can’t wait to see the slide shows and familiar streets, the
vibrancy of the photos. But it is always your voice, your accent, your cheery and bemused take on the fashion that I really enjoy. Thanks so much. Keep it up! (I’ve been hoping we readers would have the option to comment
on your stuff…perhaps soon!)"